Yorkshire’s Harriet Rose is definitely an artist who loves to perform live, having been doing exactly that since the tender age of 12 and amassing an ever-expanding following… last year alone she performed over 130 gigs and organised a 30-date tour entirely on her own.
Lockdown of course put an abrupt stop to life on the road (although like many artists she has been performing lives streams) but it didn’t mean an end to her creativity, and she was inspired by the situation to write what will be her debut single, “Small Town Chains” due for release this Friday, 21st August but available to pre-save now.
It tells of her love/hate relationship with her hometown, and how she refused to be held back by those who told her that she wouldn’t achieve much educationally and that music isn’t a “real career”… echoes of Ashley McBryde’s experiences and we all know where that led!
This determined and talented singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist took the track to her good friend Pete Thompson at South Yorkshire’s Flatwave Studios where the two teamed up with Danny Smart and Tom Jane to lay down the song. An artist who takes responsibility for all aspects of her career, Harriet says of the process ”I really enjoyed the experience, it was incredibly rewarding to hear it come to life and know that I was involved every step of the way”.
We were fortunate to get a sneak preview of the release, a track full of the energy and drive which Harriet herself has already demonstrated throughout her career. The fast paced number begins with a funky electric guitar introduction, but also incorporates some of the traditional country sounds which reflect her love of the genre, including some fabulous picking and steel.
The insanely fast, wordy verses are sung clearly (not an easy task for any vocalist!) and the very catchy chorus demonstrates the power of Harriet’s vocals. And when it comes to the lyrics, they tell of what frustrates about small town living extremely well (I’m sure they’ll be very relatable to many who have grown up in a similar situation) with Harriet saying about how “everybody knows you, everybody wants to have a piece of you to pass around”, how she was “always told there’s something wrong in wanting to get out and be someone”. I particularly love how she cleverly gives a voice to the naysayers themselves in the second verse. Her reaction to all that negativity? “I’m moving on… ‘cos these small town chains can’t hold me back… got some big time plans…”
There’s only one small section which grates with me, and that’s the use of the vocoder for a few lines which disrupts the flow of the song for me, but I’m sure there’s others who will think it’s a great feature! Maybe you can let us know when you get to hear the track for yourselves…
It’s definitely an impressive debut, look out for more new music from Harriet Rose soon as plans are afoot for an EP later in the year.
Keep up to date via her website and socials